Season 2 - Modes Preview
The release of Season 2 will bring three new and returning modes to Halo Infinite: King of the Hill, Land Grab, and Last Spartan Standing. This article delves into the details of these modes: how they will play and how they will be introduced in various matchmaking playlists. Let's take a look!
King of the Hill
"A neutral hill spawns on the map and two teams battle it out to control the hill and earn points. When a player enters the hill uncontested, it is captured and begins earning 1 point per second into a capture bar. When a team’s capture bar is full, they score 1 point and a new hill spawns somewhere else on the map."
King of the Hill is a classic mode that generally involves occupying a set region on the map and preventing any enemy players from entering that region. In previous games, the hill moves at a set time to another random location on the map, and each second spent in the hill awards the controlling team one point.
This will not be the case in the matchmaking version of King of the Hill in Halo Infinite. The scoring system has been changed to require a team to control the hill until their capture bar completely fills, which will award their team one point. Only when a team scores on the existing hill will a new one spawn elsewhere.
According to Zach Boyce, the following changes have been made from the base mode:
"Each Hill now has a Control Meter. Teams fill their Control Meter when occupying the Hill uncontested.
Contesting a Hill will pause Control progress.
When a team fills their Control Meter, they earn 1 Point.
Hills have a very quick Capture Time that can be paused by Contesting.
Hills quickly decay ownership back to Neutral when unoccupied.
Hills move only when a team has filled their Control Meter, “winning” that Hill.
Quick Play: The first Hill is always consistent (equidistant), but all Hills thereafter are randomized.
Ranked: The entire Hill sequence is consistent every match.
Matches utilize the Objective Clock mechanic. Like Oddball, the Match Timer only depletes when the Hill is unoccupied."
"Naturally, we also maintained support for Classic KOTH settings via Custom Games." - Zach Boyce
While these changes will apply to Matchmaking variants of King of the Hill, players who would rather play the classic King of the Hill mode will be able to recreate it in Custom Games.
Finally, the list of Custom Game settings available on day one for King of the Hill are as follows:
Legacy Scoring Enabled
Score Per Interval
Score Interval Seconds
Hill Timer Duration
In-Hill Player Properties:
- Health Multiplier - Shield Multiplier - Shield Recharge Multiplier - Weapon Damage Multiplier - Melee Damage Multiplier - Movement Speed Multiplier - Sprint Speed Multiplier - Slide Duration Multiplier - Sprint Enabled
"At the start of the match, there are 3 neutral zones around the map. When a player captures a zone, it is locked and gives their team 1 point. When all zones are captured, there is an intermission before 3 new neutral zones spawn. The first team to score 11 points wins."
As in Total Control and Strongholds, three zones will spawn at a time. However, unlike both of those modes, capturing a zone awards a point to the capturing team and locks the zone so it cannot be captured again. Once all three zones have been captured, a new set of three zones will spawn. The score limit for this mode is 11 points.
"We do, however, have special logic to help craft a more compelling crescendo at match-end: if a team is 1 point from victory, then 2 zones will spawn, if both teams are 1 point from winning then only 1 final zone will spawn and decide the match." - Zach Boyce
In order to make the conclusion of Land Grab more enticing, the number of zones will be reduced when a team is close to victory. Only two zones will spawn if one team is within one point of winning, and only one zone will spawn if both teams need only one point.
Finally, the list of Custom Game settings available on day one for Land Grab are as follows:
Number of Zones
Variable Number of Zones
Initial Incoming Duration
Subsequent Incoming Duration
Last Spartan Standing
"In this free-for-all experience, 12 players spawn on Big Team Battle maps with a confined loadout and 5 respawns. Once a player runs out of respawns and can no longer participate, they can either spectate or leave the match without penalty.
"If a player gets a kill in the match, they can upgrade to a different weapon—something players of “Escalation Slayer” will no doubt be familiar with. The match ends when there is just one Spartan left standing."
Last Spartan Standing may sound similar to a small-scale Battle Royale gamemode, and in some ways, it is. This mode pits 12 Spartans against one another on a Big Team Battle map. There are no weapon pickups, but earning kills will allow the player to upgrade their loadout, similar to Escalation Slayer. Each player has 5 lives, and losing all lives will eliminate the player. The winner is the last spartan standing.
Interestingly, players are allowed to leave the match early if they have run out of lives. Spectating is also an option if players want to watch until the winner is declared.
According to Zach Boyce, this is how the upgrade system will work:
"Earn Personal Score, earn progress toward your next upgrade.
"This let us do a few things to further curate the experience:
Spread combat rewards to Assisting players
Put the player’s power-climb on a curve as a means to craft balance (mainly curtailing the leading players’ snowball separate from trailing players’ ability to catch up).
The upgrade system within Last Spartan Standing will provide better weaponry as the player earns Personal Score, but the rate at which new items are earned is curved. It takes longer to achieve higher tiers than lower tiers.
The upgrade system will also offer these features, according to Zach Boyce:
Players now receive a “Level Up” prompt when they reach a new level threshold—now they can choose when to take their new loadout rather than having it happen to them.
Modified Attrition’s AI Bubbles to dispense “Bonus XP”—when a player gets eliminated, they drop their AI Bubble in the world. In Last Spartan Standing, enemy players can interact with these and collect 300 Personal Score, or 3X what a kill is worth.
When playing this mode, you will get to decide when you upgrade your existing loadout, rather than having it passively occur upon level-up. Additionally, to gain a bunch of Personal Score, you can confirm a kill by interacting with enemy Personal AI bubbles.
Wondering what items will spawn on the map? Zach Boyce explains the following:
Random Equipment and Power Equipment come in via Ordnance Pods.
Equipment can be found in some interior locations.
On-map Weapons and Vehicles are disabled.
Grenades are randomized each time they spawn.
It is unclear if players will be allowed to pick up weapons from those they kill, but aside from that potential source, the only way to get better weaponry is to earn points and level up. Equipment will spawn on the map and in Ordnance Pods, and a random set of Grenades will be provided to players on spawn. Vehicles will not be present in this mode.
"We’ve implemented measures to allow eliminated players to leave Last Spartan Standing matches without incurring a quit-penalty while still retaining any progress they’ve made on Challenges. There are some Challenges that may not update their progress until the game itself has completed. If you leave early, please know that your progress will be added at the conclusion of the match."
Once eliminated, players can leave the match early and still get credit toward their Challenges. However, some Challenges will not be updated until the match itself concludes. While you will get credit for those challenges eventually, it will only occur once the match finishes.
Last Spartan Standing is a modified variant of Attrition, so it will have all the same Custom Game settings as that mode.
"Rumble Pit, for instance, is an 8-player FFA playlist with a mashup of “base” modes alongside variants with a twist. This will be available on day one.
"We aim to rotate in playlists like Social Skirmish, Social Slayer, Team Snipers, Team Doubles, and more throughout the season." - Zach Boyce
Rumble Pit will be available immediately starting with Season 2 as part of the upcoming Season's rotational playlist offerings. Unlike the existing FFA Slayer playlist, Rumble Pit will support 8 players and include variants and objective modes. Social Skirmish, Social Slayer, Team Sniper, Team Doubles, and other playlists are also planned for the rotational gamut.
If you're curious about some of these variants, Zach Boyce shares three of them in this article:
"Ninja Slayer – You’ve got infinite ammo Energy Swords and Grappleshot loadouts, with only Grappleshots and Power Equipment on-map. What ya do in this mode is swing around and hit people with swords.
"Vampireball – This is something I was inspired to try after a long-winded post I made about Oddball on Reddit drummed up some interesting discussion. In this Oddball mode, the Skull carrier is no longer nerfed—instead, the Skull is a one hit kill and has 50% Shield Vampirism (which, if you score a kill with the Skull at full shields, say, bleeds into an Overshield).
"Rocket Repulsors – Infinite ammo Rocket Launchers and Repulsor loadouts, with only Repulsors and Power Equipment on-map. This might be a good time to remind everyone that you can deflect things like Rockets with the Repulsor equipment… or super-jump yourself upward to avoid an explosion…" - Zach Boyce
All three modes will be featured within Season 2's rotational playlist offering.
"Both King of the Hill and Last Spartan Standing will be available day one.
"We’ll be inserting King of the Hill into Quick Play and Ranked Arena, as well as featuring the mode in its own playlist for those that want to purposefully check it out.
"Last Spartan Standing will be immediately available as the first Seasonal Event. It will be available throughout the Season after the event concludes, but while the Seasonal Event is running all eyes will be on Breaker." - Zach Boyce
King of the Hill will immediately be added in Quick Play and Ranked, and it will initially have its own playlist, too. Last Spartan Standing is an Event mode, but its Event begins alongside Season 2, and the mode will continue to be available after the Event concludes. During the Event, Last Spartan Standing will only be available on the new BTB map, Breaker.
"Land Grab will be featured as part of the Fracture: Entrenched event around a month after S2’s launch, after which—much like Last Spartan Standing—it will remain available for players to jump into throughout the Season." - Zach Boyce
Around June 2022, the Fracture: Entrenched Event will occur, debuting Land Grab as the Event mode. Once the Event concludes, Land Grab will continue to be available through at least the end of Season 2.
Season 2 marks the beginning of significant post-launch content additions for Halo Infinite with three new modes and some general improvements to the variety of content in matchmaking. Here's a quick rundown of the most important details from this article:
King of the Hill:
King of the Hill has been updated to award a point to the team that controls the hill long enough to fill their capture bar, with 1 point in this bar being awarded for each second spent in the hill.
Once a team fills their capture bar for a particular hill, another hill location will be chosen.
In Ranked, the location chosen follows a fixed sequence.
In Quick Play, this location is randomly chosen.
Classic King of the Hill settings can be recreated in Custom Games.
King of the Hill will enter matchmaking at the start of Season 2 on May 3, 2022.
It will be added to Quick Play and Ranked.
It will also be featured in its own temporary playlist.
Three neutral zones spawn at once in Land Grab.
Teams earn one point for each zone captured, and 11 points are needed for victory.
Once all zones are captured, a new group of three zones is chosen.
If one team is 1 point away from victory, only two zones will spawn.
If both teams are 1 point away from victory, only one zone will spawn.
Land Grab will debut one month after the launch of Season 2 with the Fracture: Entrenched Event, and it will continue to be available after this Event concludes.
Last Spartan Standing:
Last Spartan Standing is a 12-player FFA mode played on BTB maps.
Each player has 5 lives, and the goal is to be the last Spartan alive.
Weapon and vehicle spawns are disabled, but players can earn Personal Score to "level-up" and gain better weapons.
Leveling takes more score in later tiers, making it harder for leading players to snowball their lead.
Players can interact with the AI Bubble left by dead enemies to earn 300 Personal Score, three times more than the score earned by kills.
Grenades are randomized on spawn.
Equipment spawns on the map, with additional equipment and power equipment spawning in Ordnance Pods.
Once eliminated, players can either spectate the remaining players or safely quit the match without being penalized.
Challenges will progress as well, but some Challenges will not register this progress until the match has finished.
Last Spartan Standing will debut with Season 2's first Event on May 3, 2022, during which it will only be available on the new BTB map, Breaker.
The mode will continue to be available after the event on all BTB maps.
Season 2 will see the introduction of rotational playlists, starting with Rumble Pit, an 8-player FFA playlist with objective and variant modes.
Other rotational playlists include Social Skirmish, Social Slayer, Team Snipers, Team Doubles, and more.
Some of the variant modes to be added are Ninja Slayer, Vampireball, and Rocket Repulsors:
Ninja Slayer: Everyone spawns with infinite Energy Sword ammo and a Grappleshot. Map pickups only include Grappleshot charges and power equipment.
Vampireball: The Oddball can one-hit-kill and grants 50% Shield Vampirism (the Oddball carrier gets 50% bonus shields upon kill), which can overflow into an Overshield.
Rocket Repulsors: Everyone spawns with infinite M41 SPNKr ammo and a Repulsor. Map pickups only include Repulsor charges and power equipment.